That, my dear readers, is the sound of a deep sigh of relief. It's been ten days since my last post (but who's counting?), and it's not because I haven't been in the kitchen. On the contrary. I've been in the kitchen every day! I feel a little bit like Goldilocks. No, this muffin's too dry. This one's too moist. Ah, but this one...this one's just right. Ever since Linda, The Gluten Free Homemaker, introduced her muffin challenge, I've been dreaming of muffins. Muffins with pumpkin. Muffins with chocolate and bananas. Sugar free muffins. Moist, chewy muffins.
At first I tried to make pumpkin muffins, but unlike my sweet potato and banana muffins, the sugar free pumpkin muffins just weren't happening. I don't even remember how many versions I made before giving up and moving on to another idea.. Chocolate and banana muffins.
I'd never made chocolate muffins, so I did what I always do when trying a new gluten free idea. I searched the blogs for inspiration. This time it came in the form of vanilla cupcakes from The Gluten Free Goddess. So I mixed, I added, I subtracted, I tasted, and then I went back to the drawing board and did it all over again. And again.
My first muffins were decent, but they were a little too dry. Despite that, I found myself eating too many and not feeling great. So I cut out the agave nectar and decided to go one hundred percent sugar free. No agave, no molasses or honey, no dates. Nothing that would be a trigger for me. Just the bananas to sweeten them.
These ones were too dry...
The only problem was that my bananas weren't ripe enough, and I couldn't find any overripe bananas at the store. So I bought baby food. Organic banana puree. Good idea right? I thought so. But my muffins were so moist, I could barely get them out of the muffin tins. They just sort of flopped on the plate.
These ones were too moist...
At this point, I was starting to dream about muffins at night. I had visions of the Great Muffin Challenge being the end of me, the end of The Daily Dietribe. People would ask, what ever happened to that gluten free blog? That Iris just disappeared. And they would shake their heads and say, "The muffins did her in."
Perhaps I'm being a tad melodramatic? I actually did dream about muffins last night. I was sleeping but I could hear myself thinking about proportions of ingredients and how to try again this morning. Even though this is my first morning of Spring Break, and I went to bed excited that I didn't have to set my alarm, I was up at 7:30, ready to give the muffins one last try. I knew this was it. If they didn't turn out right today, the muffin challenge and I were over.
As the muffins baked, I prayed that they would come out of the muffin tins. That they wouldn't be too dry or too moist. That they wouldn't turn to mush in my hands or crumble into pieces. I left them in for twenty minutes, then checked. Still not done in the middle. Twenty five minutes. Not done. Thirty? Nope. I was starting to get nervous. Finally, at forty minutes, I took them out...and success! They came out of the muffin tins!
Oh, and they taste good too. The chocolate is merely a hint, just an added depth. If you didn't know there was cocoa in there, you probably wouldn't be able to guess what that hint of flavor was. And the bananas give it some needed sweetness, but they're still certainly not as sweet as any other muffin I've had. Yet, when I eat them, I don't get that compulsive urge to keep going until I'm full. And they're delicious with a little pat of butter, but they're moist enough that it's not necessary. Unlike a muffin with sugar, which only stokes my craving, these actually satisfy that craving, which for me, seems like a miracle.
So moral of the story? No sugar for me right now. But lots of muffins. And if at first you don't succeed...well, you know the rest.
But these were just right.
Hint O' Chocolate Banana Muffins
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 medium sized ripe bananas
3/4 cup milk or non-dairy alternative (I used TJ's organic whole grain drink)
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- Puree the wet ingredients in a food processor or mix with a blender.
- Add the dry ingredients to wet and continue to puree in the food processor or blend until completely mixed.
- Grease your muffin tins and fill almost to the top with batter. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. *Note: Start checking on your muffins after 25 minutes. Things tend to have to bake longer in my oven. If you try these muffins and find the baking time is different, please leave a comment so my other readers know too.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays.